Thursday, January 28, 2010

Katherine Makes Her Way Up White Sands

This is White Sands, New Mexico, about 40 miles north of Las Cruces off Highway 70. White Sands is a gypsum deposit. Gypsum, which is water-soluble, is formed on mountains and washed into the sea by rivers. This being the center of the 6500-square mile Tularosa Basin, the gypsum deposits at White Sands had nowhere to go, thus forming these stunning dunes the color of snow.

Don't be fooled by our cold-weather attire. There is no snow at White Sands. It was just a windy January day. The gypsum was packed relatively solid by rain the night before this video was shot, but you can still sink into the surface near the tops of the dunes, as you can see here. Watch all the way to the end to get an idea what happens when you finally emerge into the endless white vista beneath a New Mexico sky.

Being there took my breath away. Behind me there are mountains, not shown here, which just...just...just go there. There is nothing like White Sands. I was moved.